updated 09:13 pm EST, Mon January 7, 2013
Download intended only for existing license holders
A variety of tech sites claimed earlier today that Adobe had released a free version of the outdated (but still functional on many Macs and PCs) full CS2 suite of software, however the company has posted on its forums that the version is intended (and legal) only for those who already have a license. Adobe is deactivating the verification server that allowed CS2 software to function, and is providing a version that doesn't require activation to those who need it.
This hasn't stopped various tech websites from promoting the downloads as a free release, despite Adobe's statement to the contrary. The CS2 software, which can run on some models of Mac and PC, is now four versions out of date but is still functional for some users.
The notification of the availability of the older software is here, and the notice from Adobe that it is intended only for already-licensed users is here. The download server has been periodically taken offline as the story spread and traffic dramatically increased.
The Mac version is for PowerPC machines only, meaning it will only run on machines using 10.6 or earlier with Rosetta deployed. The software only runs natively on machines running 10.3.8 or older versions of OS X. The Windows version, intended for Windows 2000 and XP, allegedly runs on most recent PCs.
In response to the unexpected pirating, the company will now verify that users have existing CS2 licenses when downloaders attempt to create an Adobe account to download the software. However, pirated versions of the activation-less versions will likely have gone viral in the interim.